That habit exists. It’s called the 30-Day Trial. It goes like this:
Do something (or undo something) for 30 days in a row.
If you’ve ever felt guilty about not sticking with your goals, then make the 30-Day Trial your new best friend.This “trial” mentality has a powerful psychological effect. It takes all the pressure off. At the end of the 30 days, there’s no pressure to continue. That’s why it’s called a trial.
The 30-Day Trial is a fantastic way to implement changes without feeling like a failure. Throughout the trial, you know that you can simply discard the habit at the end of 30 days. For example, let’s pretend that you are going to give up chocolate for 30 days. The knowledge that you can eat some delicious chocolate on day 31 makes the goal much easier to accomplish.
Make sure that you choose trials that are easy. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. The idea is to practice succeeding, not failing. So rather than quit caffeine for 30 days, just quit coffee and switch to tea. Next month, if you’re feeling frisky, you can quit tea for 30 days.
With the caffeine example above, keeping the trials bite-sized will give you 2 successes instead of 1 failure. Your successes might be smaller, but they’re still successes. And the more successful you are, the more accustomed you’ll become to succeeding. So success itself becomes a habit.
Every month, you get a fresh opportunity to implement new habits, or get rid of bad ones. If you start implementing 30-Day Trials every month, then you’ll be making at least 12 changes every year. Even if these changes don’t become habits, you are still making changes. And that’s empowering.
A person who makes 12 changes every year, no matter how small, is a person who is in charge of his or her life.
Here are some trial ideas:
- Practice Lifting the Sky every day for 30 days.
- Do the 2-Minute Drill every day for 30 days.
- Practice Tai Chi every morning for 30 days.
- Quit coffee for 30 days.
- Work on flexibility techniques every day for 30 days.
- Practice forgiveness every day for 30 days.
- Quit Facebook/Twitter for 30 days.
- Do a Tai Chi or Kung Fu form every day for 30 days.
- Get up early every day for 30 days.
- Go to bed early every day for 30 days.
- Quit sugar for 30 days.
- Give up online forums for 30 days.
- Practice gratitude every day for 30 days.
- Read a chapter a day for 30 days.
- Do 100 Kung Fu kicks a day for 30 days.
- Build Internal Force every day for 30 days.
- Keep a food journal for 30 days.
- Quit TV for 30 days.
- Quit alcohol for 30 days.
- Meditate every day for 30 days.
Once you get the hang of the 30-Day Trial, you can implement more than 1 per month. You can also repeat trials that you’ve already done. For example, you might repeat your “30 days without coffee” trial every year. Or you might repeat your “100 Kicks a day” trial, but increase the number of kicks to 120.
The most important thing is to start using 30-Day Trials regularly. Remember, this is the ONLY habit that you EVER need to master. By simply committing to the 30-Day Trial, you will gradually become a more disciplined person, and with that discipline, you will build a happier, healthier, and more rewarding life.Mindfully yours, Sifu Anthony I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world how to use qigong for their own stubborn health challenges. As the director of Flowing Zen and a board member for the National Qigong Association, I'm fully committed to helping people with these arts. In addition to my blog, I also teach online courses and offer in-person retreats and workshops.